February: Afua Richardson

Afua Richardson has drawn very few comics, which makes it all the more impressive that the ones she has drawn have been so good. It's not just a question of the fact that she seems to have emerged with a unique style of her own fully formed, but that she has a sense of storytelling, an understanding of how to tell a story in comics, which is of course a very different things form simply drawing well.

Wen Genius, which was first published by Top Cow Comics as part of their "First Look" the single issue made an impression. Written by Marc Bernadin and Adam Freeman, the book tells the story of the world's greatest military tactician, who is a teenage girl from a run down neighborhood in Los Angeles. She's not going to join the army, she's going to declare war on the United States.

It is not your typical comicbook, and so it seems appropriate that the artist of the book shouldn't easily fit into any box. There's a definite influence of anime and manga, but she has her own approach in a way that's really interesting.

Of course she's busy doing a lot of other things including making music, but hopefully comics will remain a major concern because while she's been putting out covers or some short work, it would be great to see so more longer work from her, where she really gets the chance to visually shape the world. Genius was very much set in the contemporary world, though she was able to still bring her own definite angle to the story. I'd be interested to see what she could do when given the opportunity to craft a world from the ground up. Hopefully we'll find out soon.

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